Last Sunday I showed you how to cook a Thanksgiving meal for two with a little bit leftover to enjoy another day. Today I sharing a fun way to utilize Thanksgiving leftovers, inspired by my grandmother and her ability to make soup out of anything.
When I first decided to make a noodle soup with leftover turkey, I realized that gravy is literally reduced stock (assuming you cook down the turkey juices to make gravy) and therefore could be reconstituted in this soup. Take a moment to bask in my glorious realization. Of course you could use premade stock or a store-bought stock concentrate but if you have gravy you may as well use it! After how delicious my gravy turned out, I couldn’t see how it could possibly be a bad idea.
One year ago: Gluten-Free Ooey Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Two years ago: Pecan Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake
Normally for Single Serving Sunday I try to share recipes that only make one serving, but with the upcoming Thanksgiving feast I decided to do something special – a Thanksgiving meal that serves two. Many recipes for Thanksgiving produce a magnitude of servings, but what about the people out there only cooking for two, or four? This menu I have prepared easily serves 2 with leftovers. Because who doesn’t want leftovers from Thanksgiving? That being said, the turkey could serve four but if you have hearty eaters you may want to double the sides.
This dinner consists of a slow cooker turkey tenderloin with gravy, Greek yogurt-rosemary rolls, bagel-bacon stuffing, roasted brussels, twice baked sweet potatoes, cranberry-pomegranate sauce, and pumpkin crème brulee for dessert. Take a moment to be jealous.
My turkey tenderloin came out so juicy and flavorful that it will be hard to convince me to cook a whole turkey in the future. It literally fell apart when I lifted it out of the pot. By using a slow cooker I was also able to do whatever the heck I wanted in the oven, which is a huge perk for those of us with only one oven (one day I hope to be spoiled with a double oven). Even the gravy was amazing after cooking in all those delicious juices.
As you are aware, I have a habit of adding Greek yogurt to anything I possibly can so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it shows up here in dinner rolls. The rosemary really sold me on these rolls. If you don’t like rosemary, please substitute for another herb because they will rock your world with their subtle herby-ness. You can also prep these the day beforehand and refrigerate before the last rise. The next day, take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to bake them.
Then there’s the stuffing. I’ve seen stuffing made with all types of bread but this was the first recipe I had seen using bagels. I originally set aside two corn muffins for stuffing, but those were thrown into the freezer once I discovered I could use a bagel instead. I freaking love bagels! And I was not disappointed by the trade-off, especially since there was bacon involved.
For a green side I chose brussels sprouts. Only a couple Thanksgivings ago I discovered that I no longer hated them and actually became obsessed. As a result, they are nostalgic to me at this time of year. Just a simple roasting and a drizzle of balsamic is all they needed.
Growing up we usually had both regular mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes but knew I would burst if I tried to add both onto this already long lineup. I went with a twice baked sweet potato that is topped with pecans and coconut. Although it is less sweet than a marshmallow topping, it has a crunchier topping that will make you forget about those puffy white things (no offense marshmallows, I still love you).
No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without some cranberry sauce. This version uses pomegranate juice for a more complex flavor. This can be made the day beforehand or even a few days before to minimize the amount of work you have to do on the big day. But if you do have to whip it up the same day, rest assured that it will only take 20 minutes.
Of course, once you’ve stuffed your face you’ll still find room for dessert, right? Especially for pumpkin crème brulee. I know you may initially think it’s a crime to not have pumpkin pie but it’s basically pumpkin pie and crème brulee all in one. Are you really going to be upset by having both?
Now for some tips on how I timed everything in order to be hot and ready all at the same time. An hour before turkey is done cooking (mine only took 4 hours), take rolls out of fridge (if prepared the night before), toast the bagel for stuffing, and prep the brussels sprouts. Bake the stuffing and brussels at the same time and with 20 minutes of cook time remaining, add the sweet potatoes and rolls to the oven. At that time, remove the turkey from the slow cooker and prepare the gravy. Slice up the turkey and serve! Then once your belly has digested a little to make room for dessert, torch the creme brulee just before you’re ready to dig in.
One year ago: Buckeye Cupcakes
Two years ago: Apple Blackberry Pie
With my dissertation behind me and only 21 days until I graduate and get hooded for my Ph.D. you’d think I would be care-free and excited. Not so much, more like the same old stress and anxious. I am still working on a couple last experiments per reviewers comments on my paper, job hunting, and worrying about what I am going to do if I don’t have a job lined up by the end of January when my lease runs out. With any luck that last item won’t become a reality, but in the meantime it’s a good time for some comfort food.
Stuffed shells are great comfort food. Those big shells hug in their cheesy goodness of a filling while being wrapped up in a warm blanket of sauce. Sounds like the life, doesn’t it? This sauce happens to be extra special because it is a pumpkin alfredo sauce with sage. Now wait, don’t get discouraged thinking you have to make your own alfredo sauce (but you can if you want). This recipe uses a premade jar of alfredo mixed up with pumpkin puree and a couple other flavor additions to create a great fall pasta dish.
One year ago: Individual Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
Two years ago: Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup
Last week we had our first frost in Memphis. I even remembered to take my basil plant inside so that it wouldn’t die. Then yesterday I had to turn my A/C on for a couple hours because I cooked up a storm and didn’t anticipate the high of 77 degrees that day. Not that I am complaining about it being warm again, but fall here never ceases to confuse me. The temperatures drop from 70/60s to 30/40s without giving you any time to acclimate with moderate temperatures in between.
Regardless of the warm sunny atmosphere, I am powering through and continuing to make fall recipes because I just can’t get enough. It’s funny that I resisted Halloween for so long and now that it has passed I am pumped for the next two holidays, especially since Halloween used to be one of my favorite holidays. I guess not dressing up this year kind of put a damper on the excitement. Anyway, feast your eyes upon this delicious butternut squash recipe with a goat cheese sauce, which was my favorite part. So much so that I think I may use twice as much goat cheese in the future.
Two years ago: Baked Apple Cider Doughnut Minis
The other day I was looking through my disseration to double-check on some information and I found a silly typo. There is a “he” where it should have been “the”. Oh well too late now, it was sent off for printing two weeks ago! I have a feeling I will find more than just one minor typo in there as time progresses. It’s difficult to find every little thing when you are staring at 187 pages of glorious information. Blinded by the light!
While we are on the subject of errors, I specifically bought scallions to garnish this dish and totally forgot. Apparently I was so hungry while taking photos that I didn’t stop to notice or care because all I wanted to to was devour it! With its beautiful colors, creaminess and crunchy topping staring at me, you could hardly blame me. There was also plenty of kick. Mild-taste buds beware: you may way to omit the chipotle and use a mild salsa.
One year ago: Applesauce-Sweet Potato Pancakes
Two years ago: Crème Brulee
Awhile back I shared my dad’s chili which he and I have both entered into several chili cook-offs and either won or came in second place. For the a recent cook-off with his pickleball crew, he entered a slightly altered version and won again (and hence the name of this version)! He is a master of his recipes, even when it comes to making changes and improvements, and as a result I trust his recipes/modifications before all others. Yet he claims that I am the cook and he just follows recipes. Such modesty!
But anywho. My dad shared his newest chili recipe with me and I decided that the perfect time to make it was when my friends came to visit this past weekend. It helped that everyone was in a chili mood with fall all around us. So while lounging around and just spending quality time together on Saturday, this simmered away on the stove top until we couldn’t bear the teasing aromas any longer. Crammed around my dining room table, it pleased and satisfied everyone’s taste buds! A couple people added a little hot sauce to theirs but that’s to be expected as everyone has different spicy preferences.
It was so great to have 5 of my favorite people in town for the weekend and was very sad to see them all leave yesterday. We had crazy conversations and nerdy-intellectual conversations, played games, watched movies, ate and cooked a lot of great food, went out to Beale street and just did what friends do best. Now back to the stinky norm of living 8+ hours away from them. Beware Memphis friends, I may be extra needy this week.
One year ago: Sweet Potato Pie Dip with Pie Crust Dippers
I don’t know what it is about pizza but I have a very hard time capturing appetizing photos of pizza slices. No matter what angle or lighting I use, I rarely enjoy looking at the photos I take of pizza slices. As a result I tossed every single one for this pizza and was left with just unsliced photos. Maybe that’s why I don’t make pizza as much as I used to these days, because of its unphotogenic nature? Thankfully, I always take pictures before I slice into anything just in case so I at least have a shot of the whole pizza itself.
Pictures aside, the toppings on this pizza are perfect for fall and butternut squash happens to be one of my favorite fall/winter squashes to cook with. In fact, at the end of the season last year, it went on sale so I stocked up and froze it after being peeled and cubed. But that’s long gone and this pizza was made with fresh butternut squash from this season.
Did you remember to turn back your clocks yesterday? I changed mine right before I went to bed Saturday night which made me feel like I was going to bed crazy early. Although it will now get darker earlier, at least waking up early is a cinch. I find it difficult to wake up before the sun rises (and sleep when it up) so this will be good for me. But on to the food!
When it comes to comforting soup and sandwich pairings, tomato soup and grilled cheese is my go-to. So that slow cooker tomato-basil soup I shared last week? You better believe there was some grilled cheese action going on there too. But not just any ol’ grilled cheese, grilled cheese stuffed with macaroni and cheese! You can use any leftover (or fresh) macaroni and cheese you have on hand, but I used a spicy version and it was excellent.
Whenever I go to a Mexican restaurant, I tend to gravitate towards certain items every time. One particular thing I enjoy ordering is a cheesy spinach and chicken dish (usually called Pollo Adobe). Inspired by a craving I decided to make single serving enchiladas stuffed with a similar blend of ingredients.
I made them slightly healthier by using whole wheat tortillas and Laughing cow cheese instead of queso and they hit the spot. I actually wish I had made a full-sized batch to have leftovers to enjoy, but thankfully it’s easy enough to make for the next time the craving strikes!
Even though it was warm here yesterday, it rained most of the day (poor trick-or-treaters) and rain definitely puts me in a soup mood. Specifically tomato soup with grilled cheese to dip into it. And even better when it’s a slow cooker recipe, filling your home with wonderful aromas to come home to at the end of the day. Granted you cannot eat it immediately as it requires an additional step at the end, but you won’t hear me complaining.
Despite the 70-degree weather, I made this soup earlier this week and have been enjoying it ever since. However I do wish I would start to feel like fall for more than 2 days. I was so excited to finally bust out my jackets and boots last weekend but they have been put on hold once again. It’s difficult for me to get into the holiday spirit when I am still wearing short sleeves and flats! Alas, I just have to continue preparing meals as if it were a brisk fall day outside.
P.S. Stayed tuned for Monday’s post to hear about the fat-kid-friendly grilled cheese I served with this soup!
One year ago: Pecan-Crusted Chicken with Roasted Broccoli